Minister slams Perkasa over Hindu temple remark

KUALA LUMPUR - Federal Terri­tories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor has taken Malay rights group Perkasa to task for questioning the construction of a Hindu temple in Putrajaya.

Tengku Adnan urged Perkasa not to raise the issue as its construction had long been ap­­­proved.

He said the proposal to build the Sri Lalithambikai Alayam temple complex at Precinct 20 was also part of efforts to lure more tourists to the area.

Tengku Adnan said the complex would not only have a temple but would also be equipped with modern amenities such as a multipurpose hall and library which could be used by the public.

"Everyone will be able to use the facilities there and it is not only for Hindus," he was quoted as saying by Bernama after he launched a new housing development in Sungai Besi yesterday.

Perkasa youth chief Irwan Fahmi Deris on Jan 8 issued a statement that was uploaded on his blog questioning the decision to build a Hindu temple in Putrajaya as the area where the temple is located is a predominantly Malay area.

Several online news portals reported Tengku Adnan saying that building a temple in Putra­jaya would not jeopardise the faith of the Muslims living nearby.

"We have built many temples before, building another in Putrajaya is not going to change the entire population into Hindus," Tengku Adnan was reported as saying by the portals.

The approval to build the temple was announced on Jan 21, 2013 by former MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.

Samy Vellu had said that the construction of the temple was a fulfilment of the Barisan Nasional's pledge to provide a place of worship for Hindus in Putrajaya.

The temple is reportedly being built by the Putrajaya Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Devo­tees Association on a 0.4ha plot of land allocated to the association in Precinct 20.

Association president Datuk Kanagaraja Raman had said that the temple complex would be able to accommodate up to 600 devotees at any given time and would serve Hindus in Putrajaya and its surrounding areas.

Kanagaraja said the complex would be a one-of-a-kind structure that used elements adapted from existing temples in north and south India.